Is democracy still alive? Can ordinary citizens still make their voices heard? A look at initiatives in recent decades here in Northwestern Ontario strongly suggests that the answer is yes.
In 1980, when Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., proposed a high-level nuclear waste storage facility in Atikokan, Environment North and other citizen organizations studied the proposal and believed that not enough was known about the safe transport and storage of the waste to justify the risk it posed.
A petition that called for public hearings had 24,000 signatories. Test-drilling was halted and the hearings were eventually held in the 1990s.